Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let's Talk About Rotoscopes, Baby

As cynical as I'm being about this whole process, I really am very excited to work on this rotoscope. Tuesdays I have class from 8:30am until 10:30pm (which also means that, yet again, I have a 4 day weekend...hooray?). It's really dense, but at least today, the first day back from break, we got out early a bit, leaving me time to print these frames. I made it about 350 pages on one printer before the toner started running a bit low... Which totally convinced me to buy a laser printer after graduation. I printed another batch later, and I'm back at it again, on page 600-something out of 1746. Thank goodness I'm playing with repetition and only doing 8 frames a second! As much as I'd love to do more, unfortunately, this has a very strict, very soon deadline.
Since I'll probably post about this animation a lot, I figured I'd explain the process a bit more, and show you some other lovely rotoscopes from artists on Vimeo. This has been one of my favorites for a couple years. Animated to the song "2 Atoms in a Molecule" by Noah and the Whale (great music that makes you happy), this is the final year animation Dan Jones did for his degree at SVA.

It's done at 10 frames per second, and without any compositing! Personally, I love this because every single frame moves. Unless it's done right, I tend to dislike (mild word choice) 2d animations that are rather still. But even the titles are animated frame by frame in this.
Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with animation (I know, I sometimes forget we speak another language), rotoscope involves using reference footage. Traditionally, you trace over footage (very possible to do this and still animate characters like they did for Betty Boop). I happen to be a big fan of the aesthetic achieved through tracing, and find that by selecting lines, I still have a lot of control over the image, as literal as my tracing may be. So this is what I will be doing. And as far as frames per second goes, it's exactly what it sounds like: the number of frames that pass on screen for every second. So for one second of animation, Dan drew 10 frames. For 10 seconds, he drew 100 frames. Get it?

The color choice is super cheerful and appropriate, and there's even a bit of colorful confetti!

Well I am still printing away, but I'm sure I'll share a few more favorites with you soon.

Side note: I totally love that Dan's website is dandidthis.com! I mean, speaking as someone who opted from somethingsmichaelamade.com. Ha!

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Thanks for reading about some things I made today! Feel free to leave a comment here; I love hearing from you!

Love, Michaela